As was the case throughout the nomination process, the housing industry was quick to praise the Senate confirmation of Pam Patenaude to serve as the next deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Patenaude was confirmed on Thursday in an 80-17 vote in the Senate, with all 17 no votes come from the Democratic side of the aisle.
Patenaude’s confirmation received a warmer welcome within the housing industry.
“At this moment when so many of our citizens are suffering, Pam will bring strong leadership when we need her most,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said of his new deputy. “Pam’s extensive housing and community development experience will be invaluable as we embark upon the long road to recovery for communities hard-hit by disaster and I’m grateful the Senate confirmed her nomination.”
Ron Terwilliger, the chairman of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America's Families, also celebrated Patenaude’s confirmation. Patenaude is now the former president of Terwillger’s foundation.
“We are gratified by the Senate's action today to confirm our colleague and friend, Pam Patenaude, as HUD's Deputy Secretary,” Terwilliger said in a statement. “With her deep housing experience, Pam will be a tremendous asset to Secretary Carson and will no doubt hit the ground running. We need a full team at HUD to respond to America's affordable housing crisis, a challenge made even more difficult by the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.”
David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, joined in the Patenaude praise.
“MBA wants to congratulate Pam Patenaude for being confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the next Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.” Stevens said in a statement.
“She brings with her deep knowledge of real-estate finance and housing issues, and has the right experience to be successful in this job,” Stevens continued. “I have personally known her for many years and look forward to working with her, Secretary Carson and other officials at HUD on issues that will help Americans’ ability to access affordable single-family and multifamily housing.”
William Brown, the president of the National Association of Realtors said that Patenaude is the “right choice” to be the second-in-command at HUD.
“Realtors are pleased to see her nomination win approval from the Senate,” Brown said.
“She has a big task ahead. Home prices continue to rise in an environment of ever-tightening mortgage credit, which means buyers are struggling to keep pace. That’s a combination that’s tough not only on young and first-time buyers but also on current homeowners looking to sell so they can move up to a property that better fits their needs,” Brown continued.
“As a result, it’s no surprise that the homeownership rate still hovers around a 50-year low,” he concluded. “Pam understands those challenges. She has the background and experience necessary to do the job right, and we look forward to working with her to improve the landscape for current and prospective homeowners.”
Lindsey Johnson, president and executive director of the U.S. Mortgage Insurers, also welcomed Patenaude’s confirmation.
“USMI applauds the Senate for its confirmation of Pam Patenaude to be Deputy Secretary of HUD. As a longtime public servant and expert in the housing finance system, Deputy Secretary Patenaude fully understands the need for a coordinated, consistent, and transparent approach to federal housing policy across government channels,” Johnson said in a statement.
“Deputy Secretary Patenaude’s extensive background in housing finance will allow her to immediately begin work on the most important issues facing the housing finance system,” Johnson added.
“Importantly, Deputy Secretary Patenaude’s leadership in these efforts will ensure that Americans have greater access to mortgage finance credit, promote a greater role for increased private capital in mortgage finance, and reduce taxpayer risk exposure,” Johnson concluded. “USMI and the private mortgage insurance industry look forward to working with Deputy Secretary Patenaude going forward to establish a more equitable and robust housing finance system.”
Other housing groups also celebrated Patenaude’s confirmation.
“The National Housing Conference congratulates Pamela Patenaude upon her appointment as Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,” the group said in a statement.
“Patenaude’s experience will serve the department well, especially the team at HUD assists in recovery efforts in Florida and the Gulf Coast,” the National Housing Conference added. “NHC thanks the Senate for confirming a deputy secretary, a key step in fulfilling HUD’s mission. We urge the Trump administration to continue nominating and the Senate to continue approving other key housing positions at HUD, USDA and elsewhere across the Federal government, many of whom are also needed in recovery efforts.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Shanna Smith, the president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance.
“Pamela Hughes Patenaude is eminently qualified to serve as the Deputy Secretary of HUD. Ms. Patenaude has over 25 years of experience in housing, public policy, community development, and economic development,” Smith said.
“She brings a wealth of knowledge, management skills, and strategic leadership to HUD. Her confirmation could not come at a more appropriate moment as the nation works to help millions of people recover from hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” Smith continued.
“Ms. Patenaude has particular expertise in this area and can help HUD effectively execute disaster relief programs and disseminate funds in a fair and expeditious manner,” Smith concluded. “The membership of the National Fair Housing Alliance welcomes Pamela Patenaude to HUD, and we are eager to work with her to promote fair housing and ensure that every neighborhood is a place of opportunity.”